LAST STOP — LaLa Land. Tinsel Town. Hollywood. Well, really, LA. I hope you enjoyed following our 17-day, 4,900-mile, 15-state (with 10 overnight destinations) road trip across America from New York to back to Los Angeles via I-90 and Route 101. Literally and figuratively it has been quite a ride.
As for me, I have now traveled to and through 45 of the 50 U.S. states. Missing? Alaska, Kansas, Maine, Missouri and North Dakota. One day. And while the third installment of Zach, Zoey and Pilot (Dinner is at Half Past Six) is well underway, I could easily foresee an all American adventure one day.
And a very special thanks HASSELBLAD USA for the Stellar. What a simply perfect little camera.
WHAT CAN ONE say about the Central Coast of California other than it is perhaps one of the most beautiful places on Earth? Without much of an imagination whatsoever, one can simply breathe in the natural majestic landscape and picture what California looked like in the time of Junipero Serra. Endless summer indeed.
SPECIAL THANKS TO
When we left New York two weeks ago it was decidedly still summer time (though a very few trees had started to change).
During our two-week trek (which today takes us from California wine country to the Central Coast of California, specifically to the village of Cambria, which is right around the corner from Hearst Castle) it was clear we were on the shoulders of the seasons, some states/regions it was still summer, hot and sunny, other places it was very much autumn, crisp and damp. And while it was unseasonably warm the day we arrived, it is clearly harvest time in Sonoma and Napa — perhaps one of my favorite places in the world. Wine crush is starting; you can smell it in the air, early this year.
This morning, after the clinging fog retreated from the hillsides and the sun started to come out I sauntered down the hill from our cousin’s home to my Aunt and Uncle’s fruit, vegetable, flower and herb garden, which is perhaps one of the most peaceful and serene places I have ever known. It’s kind of magical really, especially this time of year with flowers and fruit everywhere.
Portland, OR to Garberville, CA (a small town in Humboldt County on the South Fork of the Eel River) was a longer stretch than we have typically tried to conquer in a day during this two week journey.
But somewhere between Elk Valley and Big Lagoon, off the Redwood Highway (U.S. Route 101, but really almost anywhere else in California it would be PCH) well inside the Redwood National and State Parks, we came to a vantage point bluff overlooking the Pacific, which appeared as placid as I have ever seen. The breeze was light and first day of autumn crisp, the evergreens were backlit black and all one could hear were a few birds below on the beach — which made the day’s extended drive seem worthwhile. And in the end all I could think of was that I was home again.
SPECIAL THANKS TO
NOT UNLIKE the NY Times recurring Travel section column “36-Hours In…” we only had a day and a half in Seattle, which was truly a shame, and certainly not nearly enough time. That was compounded by the fact that the weather was simply perfect. Not to mention the food sumptuous and the views breathtaking. Next time around 72 hours at least. Continue reading
MUCH AKIN TO Trenton, NJ, Hudson, NY, or Flint, MI, you can easily imagine what the once mini-metropolis of Butte, MT (population a surprising 33.750) once was. However, today, she is sad, or rather incredibly lonely. Worn by time and neglect the town offers intriguing architecture (a curious combination of Victorian, Prairie Federal Revival and Art Deco), peeling paint and fading signs. Scarcely a car goes by on Main Street with any regular sense of traffic. Rush hour has all but been forgotten. Yet of all the places on the trek across the U.S. Butte is among the most visually arresting and hauntingly beautiful. Continue reading
It was literally a picture perfect day at Mount Rushmore National Memorial today. The four presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt) are carved into the granite of the Black Hills near Keystone, South Dakota. The second shot is the classic postcard pic, but the first is more me. Continue reading
Cleveland came and went. Chicago bean there… Done that. Seriously, had a wonderful few days in Chi town. Had forgotten what a remarkable museum the Chicago Institute of Art is. Already in Des Moines… Omaha and Sioux Falls here we come… Continue reading
IN EVERY Zach, Zoey and Pilot book, the twins and their trusty canine companion inevitably embark on a fantastical journey to real places both near and far from their home just outside New York City. The inspiration for all of ZZP’s adventures, though, come from actual treks make by yours truly, who started traveling at a relatively early age and has had wanderlust in his heart ever since.
During my lifetime of traversing this nation (as well as making frequent exotic jaunts much farther afield), I’ve managed to visit 38 U.S. states. My goal, of course, is to see all 50 — an ambition I suspect Zach, Zoey and Pilot will share in the future.
The United States is a remarkably diverse place, both geographically and culturally. And while international locales often appear more romantic and picturesque, the U.S. offers plenty of its own unique charms, from world capitals such as New York and San Francisco to nameless one-street towns seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Continue reading